(Voice of the Persecuted) One day after so-called representatives of the Boko Haram sect signed a ceasefire accord with the government, the sect went on a rampage killing people in Christian areas with an undisclosed number of people having been killed. Many are feared dead.
The attacks are seen as reneging from the ceasefire agreement with government. One source from Maiduguri said celebrations had barely began when they received the news of the fresh attacks by Boko Harm. They are now left with a sense that there was no such agreement or, “perhaps, they are more than a terror group.”
A few days ago the Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri said in a news briefing, “The discussions are essentially in relation to the general insecurity in the North-east and also the need to rescue all captives of the terrorists, including the students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. “Already, the terrorists have announced a ceasefire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in a similar vein, declared a ceasefire.”
Following the announcement of ceasefire between the government and the Boko Haram, which has brutally killed thousands of people on their quest of establishing an Islamic State ruled by Sharia Law, many Nigerians, VOP advocates, including our team members in the region who are very aware of the antics of the sect—called for caution.
The terror sect renewed attacks on Shaffa, Hawul Local Government in South of Borno, which reportedly killed 8 locals with several injured. Hundreds of others were claimed to have fled their homes.
All Africa reported a survivor as saying, “There was pandemonium in Shaffa as Boko Haram invaded the nearby village, shooting at everybody at sight. We had to flee into the bush and as I am talking to you many of us are taking refuge in the bush.”
The gunmen returned back to the town to gather corpses of slain members for burial. A gunfight with members of the Civilian-JTF ensued and many may have been killed including Boko Haram militants.
An attack on Abadam village in the northern part of Borno state where they reportedly beheaded several villagers including the father of a former Speaker of the Borno state House of Assembly, Goni Ali Modu.
According to Leadership news outlet, a resident of Abadam said, “dozens of gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram have taken over Abadam. They have been in Abadam since Thursday but finally [hoisted] their flags on Friday after killing many prominent people and forcing others to cross over to Niger.” He relayed that 30 people have been killed in Abadam alone, but was unsure of the actual number and that many people, especially the old are still in Abadam because they could not flee.
Trapped but fortunate to escape, residents of Bama local government area of Borno state where the Boko Haram had seized for about two months now have reported cases of serial killings of helpless residents by the Boko Haram terrorists.
One woman, Fatima Bulama, who managed to escape to Maiduguri on foot last Monday said “things are getting worst in Bama; they are killing people selectively everyday. Days before I managed to escape, they gathered all the younger women and divided them into three groups according to their age grade and then they took them away; we never knew what would become of them, but I know it would be something terrible.”
A member of the local vigilante in the area, Kashim Abba, said in Maiduguri that the sect had shown that there was no ceasefire with the latest attack. In Michia, Filli said the insurgents had overrun the villages in the earlier hours of Saturday and burnt down houses in the village, forcing residents to flee.
Earlier, a group of insurgents attacked the Borno town of Sabon Gida, said one military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “The fight was tough and it seems the insurgents wanted to destroy everything in Sabon Gida.”
Another said, “The ceasefire is good but we are wary of these people, besides they know us, we don’t know them. Whatever turns up, we are ready. The only regret is that so many people have been killed already but that is our pledge, to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria against all odds,” he said.
On Sunday, Nigerian Army troops fought members of Boko Haram in the town of Damboa in Borno state.
With the latest attacks hopes are waning for the release of the 200+ Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped six months ago by the terror group. A parent of one of the missing girls, Lawan Abana said, “We were in jubilation. We had every reason to be happy … but since then the ceasefire has been broken in quite a number of places already.” Other parents have expressed their concerns and disappointment, but are trying to remain optimistic for the sake of their children.
Some question if Christians are being targeted, if the attacks are only tribal battles, or reprisals against the government or civilized activity. The Church in north Nigeria is strong. Boko Haram wants to eliminate the churches because they are unacceptable to Muslims. They don’t want Christians in the Muslim areas, so they bomb those places of worship, or refuse to give them a license to worship.
In September, Nigeria’s Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) President, Samuel Dali said the headquarters of the church is under grave threat from the Islamic extremist insurgents who seek to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country.
“Boko Haram violence has been getting worse every day, and our members are fleeing the area by the thousands,” he said. “Recent attacks in Borno and Adamawa states where are our churches are located have seen Boko Haram take over the Army base. As a result, about 350 Christians have been killed.”
Boko Haram has warned Christians in North Nigeria to leave or convert to Islam.
In June you may have seen the World Watch Top 10 Violence List. Nigeria ranks No. 1 in the Top 10. Levels of violence in Nigeria remained extremely high. Nigeria consists of two parts: the predominantly Christian South and the Muslim North. Most incidents are recorded in the northern part of the country where Islamic Sharia Law has been implemented in many states, but fanatical movements, such as Boko Haram, fight to further Islamize society. Boko Haram continues to attack Christians on a large scale by burning down and bombing churches and Christian property, assaulting and kidnapping Christian women and girls. Another main driver for violence against Christians are the Muslim Fulani herdsmen. They come down from northern states to areas where Christian live and try to take over land that belongs to Christians. It has been proven the Boko Haram supplies heavy weapons and encourages the Fulani Muslims to attack Chrisitans, with many joining to become members of the brutal sect. See our Apr. 23, 2014 report: Fulani herdsmen confess to membership of Boko Haram
VOP Note: Remember Nigeria and the faithful in your prayers. Pray for peace and the release of all who have been abducted. Pray all enemy plans will be foiled.
Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate their suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
The back room deals that have been done in secret over the last months and years have turned the world on it’s heels and set off wars and rumors of wars in almost every part of the globe. While I am overjoyed and encouraged by the news that Boko Haram will release the 200 kidnapped girls taken by them months ago, I’m also wondering why now? Why have they waited so long and what exactly are they promising and what have they been promised?
Boko Haram has terrorized, tortured, raped and killed thousands of innocent people in recent months alone. The government of Nigeria has been virtually powerless to stop them. They have faced increasing pressure from Western governments to negotiate and cave in to seemingly nonsensical resolutions. It has been rumored in the past that the government of Nigeria turn over more control to Islamists. Someone is funding these demonic entities, and it’s been proven that there is a super highway from Sudan and other parts east to Nigeria from the northern most parts of Africa and as far away as the Middle East. Weapons have been seized traveling through this highway. And refugee camps have been rife with these terrorists described as infiltrating wreaking havoc and fear.
Media outlets including the BBC reported Nigeria’s military has agreed to a ceasefire with Islamist militants Boko Haram – and the abducted schoolgirls will be released.(More)
The kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls raised outrage across the world. But quickly quieted, amidst rumors that the girls were sold in open slave markets, leaving the world to wonder if they were still alive, or faced a fate worse than death. In a world that lauds freedom for all, slavery is abundant and out of control in the eastern half of the world. And global leaders are found not only silent, but complicit, conniving and conspiring with the very evil that they denounce.
It’s been said that the military was demoralized when it couldn’t prevent or secure the release of the girls. It has also been said that negotiations would only strengthen and embolden this terrorist group. There has been confusion, outrage and desperation over the last months. (Read here) & (Here)
This is a developing story and with our Nigerian contacts, we will keep on top of it and keep you updated. Please take a moment to pray for these precious girls and their families. Pray for God’s intervention. Pray for wisdom for the leaders involved in these talks. And pray for Nigeria.
By C. Refsland VOP Advocate
Nigeria Reaches Ceasefire Agreement With Boko Haram Sect with Possible Release of Kidnapped School Girls
The Nigerian news outlet, Vanguard is reporting that VoA, quoted President Goodluck Jonathan’s Private Secretary, Alh. Hassan Tukur, as disclosing. – Voice of Nigeria VoA in Saudi where the talks which are being brokered by officials of Chad and Cameroon are taking place.
The cease-fire is expected to result in the release of the remaining 219 Chibok female students(who are majority Christian) abducted from their school more than five months ago and indeed girls and women abducted from other communities in the course of the five-year deadly insurgency, said to have killed over 12, 000 people.
According to the international radio, a man calling himself the Secretary-General of Boko Haram, Danladi Ahmadu, told VOA on Thursday that the Chibok girls were in good condition and unharmed.
The report said that Boko Haram did not elaborate on the conditions under which the girls would be freed and that authorities in Saudi Arabia were not involved in the negotiations.
Sheila Medina Siqueira Dos Santos, SP
Dear Pastor’s family, I’m Brazilian and I’m praying with you for the release of Pastor Saeed. Don’t give up on God, [He] is with you. [I] will be praying every day. Stay in the peace of the Lord Jesus.
Thank you, Sheila for keeping Saeed and his family in your prayers.
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:10-11
God bless you, sister.
VOP Project Team
Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.
Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize. Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.
Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE
Lahore High Court upheld the death penalty sentence for Asia Bibi (49yr), a Christian woman and mother of five convicted of blasphemy in 2010. That the execution by hanging could be carried out, instilling fear among Christian refugees who have fled the country to avoid a similar sentence.
Bibi’s attorney’s plan to submit a final appeal to the Supreme Court, but there are fears this process could last a number of years leaving the woman to sit in prison away from her children.
Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan where 97 per cent of the population is Muslim and unproven claims have lead to mob violence on multiple occasions.
Two politicians former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti were murdered in 2011 after calling for reforms to the blasphemy law and describing Bibi’s trial as flawed.
The blasphemy allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009.
She was working in a field when she was asked to fetch water. Muslim women laborers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she was unfit to touch the water bowl. During the dispute faith became a topic and it is claimed Bibi said, “Our Christ sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins…Our Christ is alive.” Later the women went to a cleric and put forward the blasphemy allegations, which Bibi claims as false.
Religious clerics including Qari Saleem who brought forward the initial complaint against Bibi was present at the court today.
“We will soon distribute sweets among our Muslim brothers for today’s verdict, it’s a victory of Islam,” Saleem told AFP outside the courtroom as the clerics congratulated each other and chanted religious slogans.
Pakistan’s unfair blasphemy law has had much criticism from human rights groups, which are misused to settle personal scores.
Lawyers who defend people accused of blasphemy and judges seen as lenient also risk being accused of the crime and regularly face pressure and intimidation, receive death threats, some have been murdered.
Increasingly in Pakistan, devoted Christians face persecution by Muslim militants or prosecution by authorities for blasphemy.
VOP is in the process of helping to rescue a family facing this same charge. The claim is false, but the entire family is facing extreme persecution, including a small child. They have been forced into hiding and must move from safe house to safe house for protection. Please consider partnering with us in the support, legal fees and other accumulating cost in helping this suffering family. We can’t do it without you!
Today around noon a monk of the Dečani Monastery, while taking a walk along around the monastery territory, noticed graffiti on the garden house, approximately 300 meters east of the Monastery. The monks immediately alerted the MNBG West KFOR Commander Col. Minelli and the local Kosovo police. It was learned that the graffiti was written on five more locations on the monastery’s land. The most common graffiti displays the abbreviations for the Albanian National Army “UCK,” other abbreviations of Islamist armies “ISIS,” “AKSH,” a threat that “The Caliphate is coming,” and some undecipherable lines that look like an attempt to write in Arabic. While Col. Minelli, the chief of police, and abbot of the monastery Fr. Sava were inspecting the graffiti, a group of young Kosovo Albanians who were passing on the road overlooking the monastery land began shouting UCK in chorus. This was witnessed by both Col. Minelli and the KP commander. Later the police informed the monks that three young Albanian men were detained by the police for provocative behavior.
The graffiti was most probably written during the previous night (11/12 October). The perpetrators of this provocation most probably entered the monastery property on the eastern side where there is no wall. Six years ago, the Monastery had to stop construction of the wall on the eastern side because they were openly threatened in the press by the local UCK war veteran organization, claiming that the Monastery had no right to do so. This part of the Monastery property remains the most critical point and it is very hard to secure without at least some barbed wire or fence, before the wall is constructed.
Today’s incident comes several days after the incident at Peć Patriarchate gate where a Wahhabi man (identified as Alegorik Muhamed Beqiri born in 1992 from Skenderaj/Srbica, with residence in Peć/Peja) attacked and injured a local Kosovo policeman shouting “Allah u-Akbar”. On that occasion the Church learned that this man and his companions had allegedly threatened the Catholic nuns in Peć a few days before, telling them that they would be slaughtered.
Dečani monks informed KFOR two months ago that they sighted four vehicles filled with bearded men dressed Wahhabi style passing by the monastery on their way to the Dečani gorge. They returned to the town of Dečani soon afterwards. Today’s incident also comes six months after unknown individuals left UCK graffiti on one of the Monastery gates (April 24, 2014). The perpetrators of this vandalism have not yet been brought to justice. Although the graffiti this time was written further away from the Monastery compound, the Dečani monks nevertheless remain very concerned, because this incident shows that there is a possibility of unauthorized access to the area in which the brothers work in the gardens and take care of the cattle every day.
In the recent weeks, KFOR has increased security around the Monastery with random patrols as an additional element of protection to the existing checkpoints. KFOR has also mediated in a few projects that should improve the relations with the local community. This latest incident comes as a step backward for all.
PRESS RELEASE BY THE DIOCESE
The Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija has strongly condemned the Islamist and Albanian nationalist graffiti that were written by unknown individuals on the property of Visoki Dečani Monastery. This is one more in the series of many provocations directed against Visoki Dečani Monastery and the Christian Orthodox sites in Kosovo.
Bishop Teodosije has made an appeal today to the international representatives as well as the local Kosovo institutions, warning that any extremism of nationalist and religious character presents a serious threat not only for the Serbian people and the Church in Kosovo, but also for all citizens in this region. Our Church, said Bishop Teodosije, expects the international community and the Kosovo institutions to protect peace and order as well as Christian sites in Kosovo from provocations and potential acts of terror.
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo has been exposed for years to acts of violence and provocations which must stop once and for all, emphasized Bishop Teodosije.
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